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The Six-Pack Ab Workout That Will Get You Shredded

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Over the past decade or so, the six-pack has become the holy grail of men’s fitness, adorning countless magazine covers and motivating millions of workout sessions.

The good news is that you don’t have to be like Patrick Bateman and do 1000 crunches each morning to get a six-pack. There are plenty of diverse and challenging ways of firing up your abs, while subtly working many other parts of your body as an added bonus.

The simple and effective workout below is designed to develop that all-important washboard stomach. But it won’t just make you look good: it will also increase your functional strength, rotational power, and muscular endurance at the same time. Everyone’s a winner.

Perform the workout once a week. It doesn’t require much time, so you can easily add it to the end of your normal workout.

The Workout

Perform the following circuit three times over.

25 kettlebell swings
6 ab wheel rollouts
10 around the world’s (in each direction)
30 seconds flutter kicks
30 seconds T-stabilisation (side to side)
30 seconds Russian twists
One plank to failure

Once you’re comfortable doing three cycles, push yourself by moving up to four, then five repetitions.

The Kettlebell Swing

I’m sometimes asked if I could recommend just one exercise, what would it be. The kettlebell swing is my answer.

This is a fantastic exercise that helps generate power, burn fat, increase aerobic capacity and muscular endurance. Whilst not an abdominal isolation exercise (it actually works your hamstrings, glutes, quads, lower back and shoulders too), I’ve included it in this ab workout because it requires the abs to be in their natural, braced position. The movement places significant demand on your abdominal throughout the exercise.

Ab Wheel Rollouts

This is the most advanced exercise in the workout. The following day is rarely fun after a good set of ab wheel rollouts!

The difficulty is in the amount of movement you are able to achieve with good form whilst still being able to draw yourself back to the start position.

If you find yourself struggling to get completely flat, consider working on your laterals, which are required to be strong as your range of motion increases. Standing pulldowns on a lat pull machine are a good way to start.

Around The World

This is the second kettlebell exercise in the workout, which again works your abdominal from their natural braced position.

You’ve got to watch your form when doing this one: I’d suggest performing it in front of a mirror to make sure that your hips stay in line. You can expect a little sway back and forth if you are going heavy, but your overall structure must stay intact.

Incidentally, this exercise will also work muscles in your upper body including the lats and rhomboids.

Flutter Kicks

Flutter kicks mimic the kind of kicking you would perform when swimming and provide a fantastic exercise for hitting those lower abs.

Developing strong lower abs will cultivate that washboard stomach aesthetic.They are tucked just behind the part of your stomach that is generally hardest to shift fat from, so spend time developing this area and as you lean up you’ll be pleased to see your muscles shine through.

T- Stabilisation

I’ve included the T-stabilisation exercise in the workout to allow you to get a feel for how comfortable you are moving your weight from side to side.

The T- Stabiliser is a great exercise to develop your abs and obliques whilst enhancing your stability and balance.

Russian Twists

I’ve included Russian twists in this workout to hit your obliques, which are the muscles to the side of your abdominals. Developing these muscles will give your torso a well rounded and muscular appearance.

On a functional level, Russian twists will help you develop rotational power, which will assist in sports such as boxing, golf, tennis and hockey.

Plank

The plank is the quintessential abdominal/core exercise. Any workout regime that left it out would be a little hollow.

You can make this exercise more challenging by moving from a straight arm position down onto your elbows and back up again, taking care not to allow your hips to move from side to side.

Planking to failure means holding the position until you can do so no longer.

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Alvin Kamara Decides That Weights Are Not Enough In His Workout

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Saints running back and NFL Rookie of The Year Alvin Kamara is getting ready for next season.

Kamara decided to put the entire weight rack on his shoulders, along with four giant plates, and then he walked 20 yards with them.

As if that’s not difficult enough, Kamara also decided to pull a Jeep behind him during his workout, which probably burned roughly 90,000 calories.

If you want to rush for over 1500 yards maybe you should find a Jeep.

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What’s Holding You Back From Being Ripped

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Do you want to be a ripped guy with abs for all seasons? The answer is a matter of priorities and discipline.

Think about it: Are you willing to cook your own food instead of eating premade meals or buying takeout? Count your macros and measure your food portions? Eat salad while the rest of your buddies are eating pizza? Give up even foods you didn’t think were especially bad for you, such as bread, cheese, and milk? Commit yourself to getting more sleep than a normal guy?

If you answered yes to all those questions, you may have the dedication needed to get ripped. If not, no worries—you can still be strong, healthy, and lean, a guy who’s always energized and resistant to disease but won’t appear in a firemen’s calendar anytime soon. And no one says you have to.

But if ripped is your goal, we’ve got the goods. You’ll achieve a lean physique faster with this approach than with any other you’ve tried so far.

Determine how those calories break down into grams of protein, carbs, and fat. Because getting ripped demands resistance training and lifters need more protein than regular folks to repair muscle, set your daily protein intake at 1g per pound of bodyweight. You need carbs to provide energy for workouts and recover from training, so again, 1g per pound is good. As for fat, keep it low to keep calories under control (1g of fat has more than twice the calories of a gram of protein or carbs), but not so low that you negatively impact hormones like testosterone: Start with 0.4g per pound per day.

So for our 250-lb man who wants to be 180, his macros are 180g protein, 180g carbs, and 72g fat.

 

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Do Fitness Trackers Really Work?

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This article was written by K. ALEISHA FETTERS and was originally published on Details.com.

THE QUESTION: I’M constantly looking at my fitness tracker. But how much can I really rely on what it’s telling me?

The expert: Ray Browning, Ph.D., director of the Physical Activity Energetics/Mechanics Lab at Colorado State University

The answer: It depends what, exactly, you’re tracking and which brand you’re wearing.

Why? These fitness devices track everything—from calories burned to steps taken—with their built-in accelerometers. And as the name suggests, they only detect acceleration (changes in motion), not exertion. They don’t have any idea if your arm is wielding a candy bar or a 50-pound dumbbell.

That’s why, as you may or may not have noticed, your tracker gives you little to no credit for some of your workouts. A lot of strength training exercises—not to mention biking—all read like you’re just chilling out on the couch, Browning says. Remember: If your tracker is not bouncing around, it’s not counting your exercise.

In one recent study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, trackers’ calorie expenditure (one subset of the genre) was found to be between 10 and 15 percent off, on average, which isn’t so bad. Researchers asked 30 men and 30 women to complete a 69-minute workout that included 13 different activities—from writing at a computer and playing Wii tennis to running and shooting hoops. They then compared the readings from eight fitness trackers against those from portable (and far more accurate) metabolic analyzers.

The BodyMedia FIT, Fitbit Zip, and Fitbit One, were the most accurate (with 9.3, 10.1, and 10.4 error ratings, respectively), while the Jawbone Up, Actigraph, Directlife, Nike Fuel Band, and Basis Band, brought up the rear (with 12.2, 12.6, 12.8, 13.0, 23.5 percent error ratings, respectively).

But if you put too much faith in even the most accurate trackers—basing your calorie intake on how many calories your device says you’re burning—you could end up gaining, not losing weight, Browning says. For instance, if your fitness tracker says you’ve burned 3,000 calories today, you may have actually only burned 2,500.

The smartphone apps for some of these fitness trackers will let you manually enter exercises to get a more accurate calorie-burn total, but even if your tracker knows your height, weight, age, and gender, the calorie-estimate could be off, of course. (the accuracy of cardio machine calorie-counters is another matter.)

There is a silver lining, though: “These fitness trackers may not be accurate in counting calories, but their results are repeatable,” says Browning. If you do the exact same thing two days in a row, you can expect the same tallies from your tracker. That means you can easily use them to track your progress. Have you burned more calories today than yesterday? Taken more steps? You can trust that info.

And progress, in the end, is what will make you fitter and faster.

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